Montreal Impact

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Impact defender Ciman hopes to extend MLS stay past 2018

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While he may not be one of the household names in Major League Soccer in terms of popularity, Laurent Ciman has easily become one of the league’s top defenders since coming to North America.

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The Montreal Impact center back arrived on the MLS scene back in 2015, and has spent the last three seasons with the Canadian side.

In that span, Ciman has not only allowed those within the MLS ranks, but also with his native Belgium, to which he has earned various call ups to the national team recently. He is also on track to make the Red Devils squad ahead of next summer’s World Cup in Russia.

The 32-year-old has plans to remain with the Impact past 2018, when his contract expires, and Ciman says he hopes the club’s next manager — Remi Garde — will be able to assemble a quick turn around.

“My projects are based in the MLS. I have a year left with Montreal, and my goal is to extend my contract in North America after that,” said Ciman.

“Last season was disappointing, but I hope the new coach will give new momentum to the team.”

The Impact missed the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2017 after the team lost nine of its last 10 regular season matches.

Report: Montreal Impact to hire Remi Garde

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Following rumors that a pair of ex-Premier League coaches were in the running to take the reins of the Montreal Impact, a third has been chosen.

Remi Garde, who notably got less than a season at Aston Villa, is set or the job according to Tony Marinaro of TSN 690 in Montreal.

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Walter Mazzarri (Watford) and Francesco Guidolin (Swansea City) were mentioned in a Tuesday report.

Garde, 51, led Lyon for three seasons before that, winning the French Cup in 2012. He won 84 of 166 matches in charge, drawing another 37.

Montreal fired Mauro Biello after the Impact lost nine of their last 10 matches and missed the playoffs, a season after the coach led the club into the Eastern Conference Finals.

The club has MVP candidate Ignacio Piatti and Swiss star Blerim Dzemaili under contract, and they proved a potent duo.

Montreal fires Biello after Impact loses nine of last 10

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Mauro Biello is out.

The Montreal Impact have parted ways with its entire coaching staff following a terrible end to a disappointing 2017 season which failed to see them build on an Eastern Conference Finals run.

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Montreal lost nine of its last 10 despite beating Toronto FC in Toronto, finishing with 39 points. That’s 11 points out of a playoff spot, which looked all but certain before their miserable finish to the campaign.

This despite an MVP caliber season from recently-extended Ignacio Piatti, who scored 17 goals with five assists. That the Impact failed was a bit baffling, especially following the midseason addition of Blerim Dzemaili, who chipped in seven goals and 10 assists in 22 matches.

There are some interesting pieces for the next boss, should 24-year-old Anthony Jackson-Hamel and 18-year-old Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla stick around.

The 45-year-old Biello finishes his first managerial gig following a playing career with the Impact (pre-MLS), Rochester Rhinos, and several indoor sides including the Impact, Toronto Thunderhawks, and Buffalo Blizzard.

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MLS Snapshot: Altidore leads TFC past Impact, to brink of history

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The game in 100 words (or less): Having clinch the Supporters’ Shield two weeks ago, Toronto FC have but one point of pride for which to play the rest of the way: the league-record points total (currently 68 during the shootout era; 67 post-shootout). After knocking off the Montreal Impact, 1-0 on Sunday, Greg Vanney’s side is now level with the 1998 LA Galaxy on 68 points. Jozy Altidore, fresh off the heartbreak of Tuesday’s defeat to Trinidad and Tobago, scored the game’s only goal in the 16th minute to give the Reds an eighth win from their last 10 games as the regular season quickly comes to a close. Sebastian Giovinco had a slightly rougher afternoon, missing a pair of penalties just before halftime.

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Three moments that mattered

16′ — Altidore gets a lucky deflection, slots past Crepeau for 1-0 — No assist for Marky Delgado, as the ball came off a defender and fell into the path of Altidore, but it’s the thought that counts. As for Altidore, he needed one like this, and early.

45+1′ — Giovinco misses from the spot… twice — Giovinco banged his first penalty attempt off the inside of Crepeau’s right-hand post, only to be gifted a retry after the 23-year-old came off his line early. Giovinco hit the outside of the same post this time.

51′ — Cabrera hits both posts, Mancosu can’t finish the rebound — The odds of the ball somehow not crossing the goal line on this sequence are… well, quite low.

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Man of the match: Marky Delgado

Goalscorers: Altidore (16′)

Tackling the MLS MVP debate: Which players are for real?

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We have a former MVP, a league newcomer and everything in between this season as MLS’ most prestigious individual award nears its end.

[ MORE: Atlanta continues home-field dominance with win vs. Impact ]

New York City FC’s David Villa is strongly in position to win his second MVP award in a row, while Diego Valeri, Josef Martinez and others chase the former Barcelona man.

PST takes a look at five serious candidates for the Landon Donovan MLS MVP award this season.

David Villa

The debate starts with the NYCFC captain for a second consecutive season. “El Guaje” has come out and lit it up once more for the Bronx side and propelled his side into a prime spot to grab a first-round bye in the Eastern Conference, despite Atlanta’s hot pursuit. The biggest thing working against Villa right now is a combination of injuries and lacking finishing. The Spanish international hasn’t scored an MLS goal since August 20, making his stock fall a bit.

Diego Valeri

Is there a player hotter than Diego Valeri right now? Well, there might be one other, but we’ll talk about him in a minute. The Argentine is simply scorching MLS defenses right now, scoring in nine straight matches and lifting the Portland Timbers to within a point of the Western Conference lead. Not only has Valeri exhibited incredible finishing technique in 2017, but the 31-year-old has also recorded nine assists for Caleb Porter’s group. Valeri’s most important trait could very well be his clutch factor. The attacker has six (yes, six) game-winning finishes this season for the Timbers.

Josef Martinez

Cut the whole “he missed half the season” argument out of the equation because that argument actually helps his case. The Designated Player has scored 17 goals in 16 matches this season for newcomers Atlanta, and while the expansion side has plenty of attacking firepower, such as Miguel Almiron, Hector Villalba and Yamil Asad, it’s Martinez that has proven to be the vital piece for Tata Martino and Co. down the stretch. By the way, Atlanta is 9-2-2 this season when Martinez starts for them. That’s not a coincidence.

Ignacio Piatti

These last two players won’t be sexy picks given the possibility that neither of their teams will make the postseason, but just listen to why they should be in consideration. Piatti has recorded a 25.3 percent conversion rate this season, which ranks second-highest in MLS when accounting for players that have scored 10 goals or more. The Impact have given up the second-most goals in the East this year, making it more difficult for Piatti and Co. to work

Lee Nguyen

To many, this pick will be a bit out of left field, but bear with me for a second. The 30-year-old has recorded 10 goals and 15 assists this season, making him the New England Revolution’s most dangerous attacking player because of his duel-threat abilities. Nguyen is the only player in Revolution history to record double-digit goals and assists in the same season, which further makes the case for what a historic season he is having. The Revs will need some help in order to qualify for the playoffs, but if they do, Nguyen’s stock will have to increase even more.